Israel Ready to Begin Restaffing Amman Embassy

YERUSHALAYIM -
Jordanian police stand guard during a demonstration near the Israel Embassy in Amman, Jordan, July 28, 2017. (Reuters/Muhammad Hamed0)

With the imminent restoration of full diplomatic relations between Israel and Jordan, the Foreign Ministry has begun looking  to fill the post of ambassador in Amman. The Ministry has released an internal tender, seeking a seasoned diplomat to move to Amman and take on the job.

The former ambassador, Einat Shallin, has decided that she no longer wants the job, after she was sent home last summer in the wake of an incident in which an Israeli security guard killed a Jordanian of Palestinian ancestry.

The incident led to the closing of the embassy and the evacuation of Israeli staff, including the ambassador, after Jordanians rioted and demanded that Israel hand over the security guard for trial. Indeed, most of the Israeli staff who had been working at the embassy will not be returning, some for personal and some for security reasons, Hadashot News reported.

The way for the reopening the embassy was paved last week when Israel apologized to Jordan over the incident, and paid reparations to the family of the Jordanian killed in the 2017 incident, as well as to the family of a Jordanian killed accidentally by IDF soldiers at the Allenby Bridge border crossing in 2014.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, “Israeli authorities will continue their examination of the materials that were gathered in the July 2017 incident, and a decision will be made on what to do about them in the coming weeks. Israel has great regard for its strategic relationship with Jordan, and both countries will continue to cooperate to advance relations between them”

In the incident, the Israeli security guard shot a 17-year-old terrorist who attacked him while doing work in an apartment rented by the Israel Embassy in Amman. The owner of the apartment later died of his wounds.

The guard immediately found refuge in the embassy, while Jordanian officials demanded that he be surrendered. Israel refused, citing diplomatic immunity. After hours of negotiations, Jordan issued authorization for the security guard to leave the country.

Jordanian media reports quoted the families of the two Jordanians as saying that Israel had paid some $5 million to them as part of the reparations agreement.